Genealogy and Mothers’ Day: The Ultimate Genealogy Combo!
I believe all of us can say that for every one of us, genealogy begins with our Mom’s as she is the first person we ‘know’ even before we are born!
All our lives my wife and I have celebrated Mothers’ Day with our moms, in some form or another, until this year that is. My wife’s mom passed away in 2009 and my mom passed away last August.
While our voids are filled, in part, by the fact that we are blessed with children and grandchildren so there are indeed Mothers in our family, there is something especially sad not having either of our mom’s physically with us this year.
Actually, my wife and I were really blessed when it came to Mothers. My mother-in-law accepted me just like one of her own and my mom accepted my wife as a true family member as well. We both always said we were lucky to have two Moms!
While certainly times with my mom had their familial usual ups and downs, Mom was always championing me and my undertakings. Never was this more evident than when I established my genealogy company, Onward To Our Past® and before that when I began the first ever serious researching into our own family history.
I’ll never forget my very earliest foray into our genealogy and family history. I had read a bunch of ‘how to’ books and while every one of them began with the same advice:
“Your first step should always be to seek out the elders in your family and gather all the information you can from them.”
Unfortunately, I ignored that advice and simply dove right in. It wasn’t long before surnames, dates, great aunts, uncles, and cousins began to blend, get mixed up, and soon I felt as though I was living in some strange kind of genealogy blender! I finally got smart and as I often did when I was in a jam as a youngster, called for Mom!
Thanks goodness I did!
As you may have experienced as well, the fog had lifted, the names fell into place, blanks were filled in, and best of all the stories began to flow! Plus I discovered that my mom and I were tremendous kindred spirits when it came to family history and a shared love of genealogy. She celebrated each of my discoveries as if they were her own, which they were. She cheered for discoveries, she theorized to help break down brick walls, and would spend countless hours on the phone relating each and every tidbit of family lore she could dredge up from every corner of her memory banks.
We are blessed to have two more world-class Mothers in our family. My wife is an absolutely awesome Mom and is most definitely the one most responsible for how wonderfully our children were raised and the terrific adults they have matured into. Plus we’ve been blessed with a daughter-in-law who is also a fabulous Mother to our two grandsons. She doesn’t even mind that ‘Grammie and Gramps’ have a tendency to spoil ‘The Brothers’ from time to time!
I miss my first Mom and my second Mom, my Mother-in-Law, every day, especially on this day when we celebrate Moms everywhere. However, I have to say that there is something a bit bittersweet when you lose your Mom (and Mother-in-law) and you are a genealogist. I can’t say how many times, when I make a discovery, wonder how to pronounce a certain Czech or Italian surname, how a certain family story ‘really’ was related, or just having a phone conversation in order to find those little, hidden tidbits of family history that are the true gems that make our family trees and genealogy sparkle!
God bless Moms everywhere – today and everyday!